Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Esto Viri. Esto Sancti. -- “Be a Man. Be a Saint.”

As a committed Catholic, I believe that my faith should not only be lived in what I say, but also by what I do.

As we enter the Advent season, I've been thinking about the birth and life of Jesus Christ and what it truly means to be a committed Catholic man in today's world. Being such a man takes daily training.

One source of my training is The Catholic Gentleman. It is designed to strengthen and encourage Catholic men to lead holy and fulfilling lives. The website features posts and podcasts to help Catholic men to be authentic Catholic gentlemen. Their motto is Esto Viri. Esto Sancti., which means “Be a Man. Be a Saint.” Catholic men are called to change their lives, to leave mediocrity behind, and to strive for greatness.

My confirmation saint is Saint Francis de Sales ("The Gentleman Saint"). For non-Catholics reading this post, as a catechumen or candidate goes through the sacramental preparation for Confirmation in the Catholic Church, a confirmation saint is chosen as someone he or she wants to be like, as well as someone who can pray for that person from heaven. As St. Paul wrote, ‘We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses’ (Hebrews 12:1). These witnesses are the saints who continually intercede for us. In choosing a confirmation saint, we are choosing a special friend to intercede for us in heaven, and after whom we can model our lives while here on earth. Knowing that Saint Francis de Sales is praying for me from heaven as I pray to God here on earth is truly a comfort in my Christian life.

It has been said in recent years that there is a Catholic "man crisis." Various media sources have reported that large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are "Casual Catholic Men" -- men who don't know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. Many believe that this large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating decay of the post-modern culture. Committed Catholic men realize that Satan lurks behind the cultural decay. As one Catholic writer notes about committed Catholic men, "they have come to know that Satan is real, Hell is real, Sin is real and that life is a battle to confront and defeat Satan -- the Evil One who is waiting at every turn to devour the unprepared. Committed Catholic men are not perfect, but take seriously Christ’s call to perfection. Committed Catholic men have made Sainthood their goal and have made their purpose to lead their families and as many others as possible to Heaven."

Surveys show that only about 33 percent of Catholic men pray daily, and only about 25 percent attend Mass each Sunday. Only about 40 percent of Catholic men pray the Rosary, and only 10 percent carry the Rosary with them. As those of you who have been reading my blog the past couple of years know, I regularly strive to seek God's will for my Catholic life. My first and foremost aim in life is to please Him. As we experience this Advent season, I will be thanking God daily for His countless blessings and for the many gifts that He gives to me and my family.

From Him, Through Him, For Him (Romans 11:36),
Paul J. Staso


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